Key play: Alex Smith pulled a Houdini act and scrambled for 12 yards, and also drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Buffalo safety Aaron Williams.
Key stat: Bills were three of four on third downs against the Chiefs, who entered the game No. 3 in third-down defense.
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Key play: A sack by the Chiefs’ Dontari Poe led to the Bills having to settle for a field goal after Buffalo recovered a Knile Davis fumble.
Key stat: After his first three rushing attempts lost 3, 2 and 7 yards, Jamaal Charles gained 37 yards on his next five attempts, including a 17-yard burst.
Key play: The Chiefs failed to convert on a fumble by The Bills’ Bryce Brown, who lost possession of the ball when it was stripped by Ron Parker near the goal line. Buffalo tight end Scott Chandler failed to come up with the ball in the back of the end zone, and the Chiefs, who were awarded possession on a touchback, ended up punting.
Key stat: Buffalo had the ball for 10 minutes, 15 seconds but scored just 3 points.
Key plays: Coach Andy Reid went for it on fourth and 1 from the Bills’ 39 with 13:39 left in regulation, and Jamaal Charles scored a touchdown. Anthony Sherman forced and recovered a fumble on a punt return by the Bills’ Leodis McKelvin, setting up the game-winning TD.
Key stat: Bills were zero for four on passes from the Chiefs’ 15 before the 2-minute warning.
Player of the game: Cornerback Ron Parker forced Bryce Brown’s fumble, broke up three passes and made eight tackles.
Reason to hope: It’s good to see the Chiefs show the ability to overcome a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter.
Reason to mope: A season-ending knee injury to special-teams ace/running back Cyrus Gray and a broken foot that will sideline backup tight end Demetrius Harris for a while put a damper on the day.
Looking ahead: The Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium for a noon game next Sunday against defending Super Bowl champion Seattle.
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It didn’t look like it would happen, but the Chiefs rushed for 127 yards and a 5.3-yard average against the NFL’s No. 8 defense against the run. Knile Davis had a costly fumble, but Jamaal Charles’ 39-yard run and Alex Smith’s 8-yard run provided the Chiefs’ two touchdowns.
These numbers weren’t pretty — especially the six sacks — but Smith completed seven of his last nine passes when it counted, with no interceptions. Bowe caught eight passes for a quiet 93 yards but, still, no wide receivers have caught a TD pass.
The Bills averaged 5.0 yards a pop, too, but the Chiefs remain the only team in the NFL not to allow a rushing touchdown. Ron Parker’s strip of Bryce Brown was a game-changer.
Parker came up big in Buffalo’s final threat, breaking up three of four passes from the Chiefs 15. The Chiefs didn’t intercept Kyle Orton but limited his longest completion to 25 yards. The Chiefs had but one sack, and that was a big one by Dontari Poe that forced Buffalo to settle for a field goal.
De’Anthony Thomas needs to make better decisions fielding punts. He tried to return one from his 8 and one from his 2, putting the Chiefs in poor field position. But the forced fumble by Anthony Sherman on punt coverage was the play of the day and set up the game-winning touchdown.
Andy Reid’s decision to go for it on fourth and 1 and his play call for Charles’ 39-yard touchdown was brilliant, as was the read-option for Smith’s touchdown run. Even when things were going poorly, Reid kept his team in the game.